About the Call for Proposals

UNHCR Innovation Service is happy to announce the continuation of its Digital Inclusion Call for Proposals that provides targeted financial support to country operations interested in tackling specific challenges relating to Digital Inclusion in 2021. These challenges have emerged from the previous rounds of funds, operational experience across the organisation and research undertaken within the programme. Furthermore the impact of COVID-19 requires UNHCR to develop more creative and inclusive approaches to digital access and participation, as operations rely on remote channels to provide services in light of social distancing measures. This adapted approach gives space and resources to support UNHCR teams address key issues they may be facing in light of COVID-19.

While five challenges currently exist, new challenges will be issued intermittently that cover new areas. UNHCR country operations can express interest in projects that fall out of scope for consideration, though they will not be prioritised. Each challenge has its own Background Note that provides further details and evaluation criteria for submissions.

Applications will be reviewed intermittently across 2021. There will be three gates by which application should be submitted by for consideration:

  • Gate 1: Closes 26th April
  • Gate 2: Closes 12th July
  • Gate 3: Closes 20th September

The  financial and technical support included for each challenge area is generously provided by The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and managed by the Innovation Service. Successful applicants to any Call for Proposals are able to draw down on this fund in financial year 2021 – spending against the Innovation Service’s cost centre, per the details below.

About the Digital Inclusion Programme

This programme aims to enhance UNHCR’s approaches to ensuring refugees have access to digital technology and connectivity, and that when UNHCR is engaging with communities through such channels we do so in a way that is accountable to them, accessible to different groups, and facilitates meaningful participation in humanitarian action. Through this programme a broad spectrum of challenges and thematics have been identified – whether through operational interventions to date or novel research – that warrant further exploration through field testing and learning. The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide space for such exploration, at the same time providing opportunities for country operations to make progress along identified priority areas. The precise dynamics of the individual challenges within the Call for Proposals may differ but all come together to help UNHCR improve its understanding of how the agency can contribute to enhancing refugees’ digital access and participation, and undertake effective & creative humanitarian programming in this space with accountability and inclusion as core driving values.

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